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A Summary of

The Product Strategy Stack

by
Ravi Mehta, Zainab Ghadiyali
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Today, companies win or lose based on the quality of their products.

The Product Strategy Stack is the logical plan to bring the company's mission into being.

  • Product strategy connects company objectives and product delivery.
  • We cannot know product goals without product strategy.

The Product Strategy Stack is used for planning and execution.

  • Tops-Down - teams work from the top down to define, plan, and align the company to an execution plan.
  • Bottoms-Up - teams work from bottom up to communicate execution status and track the progress of the product team.

The Product Strategy Stack

  1. Company Mission - defines the company's purpose.
    1. Great companies seek to align strategic initiatives to their mission.
    2. Your company mission should only change as the company's worldview changes.
  2. Company Strategy - the plan to bring your company's mission into being.
    1. Should be rigorously logical, and should account for the company's position in the market, unique strengths and risks.
    2. It must provide context for teams to define effective roadmaps/goals.
  3. Product Strategy - plan for how the product will drive its part of the company strategy.
    1. An effective product strategy cannot exist in isolation - e.g. Slack and Discord have similar products but have a vastly different company mission.
  4. Product Roadmap - how you sequence product strategy over time.
    1. Helps teams focus on long-term value creation for customers.
  5. Product Goals - the outcomes that measure strategic progress.
    1. Roadmaps and goals must be tethered to product and company strategy rather than defined in isolation.

Misconceptions of Product Strategy

  • Goals = Strategy
    • Strategy tells the team HOW they will win. The goal tells your team what winning looks like.
  • Achieving Goals = Achieving Strategy
    • Achieving goals does not mean a company has made progress on its strategy.
    • A company will get disrupted in the long run if they lose sight of their strategic progress.
  • Product Strategy = Company Strategy
    • Company strategy is the plan to bring your company's mission into being.
  • Goal -> Roadmap
    • A goals-first approach makes teams focus more on short-term rather than long-term goals.
    • Goals should flow from roadmaps.
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